ConnectU's Disconnection With Reality
The story about Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stiffing another group of entrepreneurs at Harvard for whom he did some early programming work for a nascent social network called ConnectU and turning around and creating his own service has long been making the rounds in Silicon Valley.
Sure, it seems a bit, I don’t know, icky for Zuckerberg to have programmed for ConnectU and then to have started his own social network. But I am with the judge who ruled yesterday in a hearing for a ConnectU lawsuit against Zuckerberg that there needed to be more evidence that the young entrepreneur had actually stolen its code and ideas.
“Claims must have a factual basis,” said Massachusetts Federal Judge Douglas Woodlock, in asking for a revised complaint with more meat on it beyond: Zuckerberg stole our marbles!
ConnectU’s photogenic but simply ridiculous founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss–no, I am not making the twin brothers’ name up–and also Divya Narendra have been attacking Zuckerberg and other early Facebook employees for years. And their press-conference grandstanding after the hearing earlier this week makes them seem even more silly.
And saying they needed to hold a press circus to respond to the spate of media inquiries, because the Winklevoss brothers needed to concentrate on their rowing aims to get to the Olympics (here one truth–they seem to be very good rowers), sent the whole affair straight to goofyville.
My take, given that ConnectU has about 100,000 users and Facebook 30 million, is that the Winklevosses should go for the gold in the Olympics and stop trying to shake down Zuckerberg for some.